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anvi
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« on: April 26, 2012, 12:35:45 am »
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Dear Forum Community,

It may have gone unnoticed by most of you, but the last political post I put up on this forum was a fairly unpleasant rant.  I didn't mean to disparage anyone at all.  I'm not trying to attention-whore with this post; I just want to exit at least a little more gracefully than I managed to do last time.  The older I get, the more important it becomes to me to try to end things well, even though things must end.

That lousy post of last month was written in the immediate wake of the SCOTUS oral arguments about PPACA. and in a mood of despair that came over me during that week.  I'm certainly not a die-hard defender of that particular law and understand its numerous shortcomings.  But, to me, the pending decision is not just about the fate of that law.  I believe that it signals a more far-reaching outcome, in that we will simply never have universal access to insured basic health care in the United States.  I personally find that a grave shame, and I think it's very bad for our country in all kinds of ways, and is bound to get worse if a way to it is not found.

Despite those feelings, I didn't have warrant to leave with the min-rant that I did.  So, I'm sorry about that.

But, I'm sure to everyone's relief, my days of commenting on politics are done.  No more endless posts that you have to crawl through or skip over.  I've lost faith in our political processes, so I'm movin' on to other hobbies.  I'm finding recently that, if I pick up a guitar, practice long enough to put my fingers in the right places at the right time, the thing sounds good, and it can make people around me happy, no matter what they happen to believe.  I think that's a better use of my free time now.

I'll probably continue lurking, but won't comment on anything political.  I do think you all are a very cool group of people, and if anyone might be interested in being fb friends or something, please pm me and we'll arrange that.  If not, no worries.  Thanks for putting up with all my bs over the past few years, and best wishes to all.   

Cheers,
"anvi"
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Napoleon
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 12:40:41 am »
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Or, you could just stay.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 12:45:45 am »
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Or, you could just stay.

This. Also there might be some random politician out there worth 2 shakes of a rat's ass. Just saying.
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shua
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 12:48:08 am »
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I didn't find that post awful at all. It was more thoughtful than disparaging. Even though I disagree about that particular law, I can see why you would be politically dispirited.  I just really hope you continue to post some, at least in religion and forum community.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 12:50:16 am by shua, gm »Logged

anvi
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 12:57:50 am »
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Thanks, guys.  Like I said, I'll probably continue to lurk, and, as shua suggests, I might put something up in Forum Community now and then.  But, the posts you all write are more fun to read than mine anyway.  And, jfern, we'll see about that random politician that, you know, really reaches for the icy heights of ueber-rodent behavior.  But, in the meantime, I'll be sure to keep breathing.  Smiley
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Gustaf
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 02:59:50 am »
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That's too bad, I think you're one of the better posters here. You should stick around.
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This place really has become a cesspool of degenerate whores...

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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 03:53:19 am »
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I've felt pretty devastated about losing on an issue in the past, so I know how you feel. Stick around, lurk if you have to, and take time off if you have to, but don't become bitter or depressed about it, it's important to push on. Stick around if you can because you're a great poster.
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tweed
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 03:55:38 am »
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welcome to Nihilism.  I left the town a handful of months ago: I left a few good friends behind, ask for Tom and Chase and see how they are doing for me.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 07:19:27 am »
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No worries. I've lost faith in politics since 2008-2011, and I'm just following politics as a much superior and more entertaining alternative to pop culture and sports.
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That Old Fart
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 07:52:33 am »
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That's too bad, I think you're one of the better posters here. You should stick around.

Without question I agree with this, Anvi.  Stay! 
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And let's be honest, Obama could take a selfie of his junk in the bathroom mirror with his BlackBerry, have it transferred to canvas and you'd have people saying it ought to be hung in the National Gallery.

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 08:14:14 am »
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That's too bad, I think you're one of the better posters here. You should stick around.

Without question I agree with this, Anvi.  Stay! 

Seriously, I wish I was as good of a poster as anvi is.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
Because I could count, my nose was big, and I kept my bank account fullish
I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
Torie
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 10:32:41 am »
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No need to apologize anvi, and I am sorry that you are burned out. Perhaps you had unrealistic expectations about the political class. Most politicians are in it for themselves, and nothing else. Far too many are simply not prepared to handle or understand complex issues, and just accept representations from others. Part of the problem is that the medical subsidies issue requires actions that will prove to be very unpopular in the end (to wit, cuts). But there  is no escape. Hopefully it won't take a fiscal collapse to get there.

Anyway, the important thing to do is what you enjoy doing of course. I hope that we can stay in touch. And hopefully if you are lurking and feel moved to say something, or say hi, or whatever, you will do so.

Best, Steve
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Scott
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 11:29:22 pm »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 11:51:58 pm »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat

Sam is an open homophobe.
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bgwah
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 01:42:37 am »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat

Sam is an open homophobe.

I kind of doubt he fully believes what he says. A lot of it is just trolling, IMO.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 08:57:08 am »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat

Sam is an open homophobe.

I kind of doubt he fully believes what he says. A lot of it is just trolling, IMO.

Maybe, maybe not.  You never really know, do you?

That being said, when a message is sent, one should take the message for what it is, and act accordingly.
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Torie
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 10:21:53 am »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat

Sam is an open homophobe.

To whom was Sam Spade referring?  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 01:35:17 pm »
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Dear Forum Community,

It may have gone unnoticed by most of you, but the last political post I put up on this forum was a fairly unpleasant rant.  I didn't mean to disparage anyone at all.  I'm not trying to attention-whore with this post; I just want to exit at least a little more gracefully than I managed to do last time.  The older I get, the more important it becomes to me to try to end things well, even though things must end.

That lousy post of last month was written in the immediate wake of the SCOTUS oral arguments about PPACA. and in a mood of despair that came over me during that week.  I'm certainly not a die-hard defender of that particular law and understand its numerous shortcomings.  But, to me, the pending decision is not just about the fate of that law.  I believe that it signals a more far-reaching outcome, in that we will simply never have universal access to insured basic health care in the United States.  I personally find that a grave shame, and I think it's very bad for our country in all kinds of ways, and is bound to get worse if a way to it is not found.

Despite those feelings, I didn't have warrant to leave with the min-rant that I did.  So, I'm sorry about that.

But, I'm sure to everyone's relief, my days of commenting on politics are done.  No more endless posts that you have to crawl through or skip over.  I've lost faith in our political processes, so I'm movin' on to other hobbies.  I'm finding recently that, if I pick up a guitar, practice long enough to put my fingers in the right places at the right time, the thing sounds good, and it can make people around me happy, no matter what they happen to believe.  I think that's a better use of my free time now.

I'll probably continue lurking, but won't comment on anything political.  I do think you all are a very cool group of people, and if anyone might be interested in being fb friends or something, please pm me and we'll arrange that.  If not, no worries.  Thanks for putting up with all my bs over the past few years, and best wishes to all.    

Cheers,
"anvi"

wow, every time I think I'm not part of the current mayhem....I prove myself wrong:

jmfcst,

The 2009 town hall demonstrations against the health care bill were Dick Army-land organized astroturf bs.  A significant proportion of the opposition to the health care law registering in the polls is from lefties who don't think the law went far enough, so the opposition showing up there is not uniform.  Many of the essentials of the current law are either actual or functional replicas of the '94 Senate Republican health care bill too, and several of the major GOP candidates for the presidency were supporters of individual mandates until as recently as 2009.  American politics now, on both sides of the aisle, is about little more than campaigning for power, winning, and then taking credit so one can keep power.  That's why the Dem caucus didn't negotiate with the GOP enough over the bill, and that's why opponents organized demonstrations with people carrying signs portraying the president as Hitler.  The Obama people did a crappy job shepherding this bill through its own young-eating caucus on the Hill, defending it with the public, and defending it in the courts, and that's why they're in this predicament.  I mean, seriously, I'm not a lawyer, and am probably not smart enough to be a lawyer, but I'll bet you every last dollar in my checking account that I could have done a better job than Verrilli did up there on day 2 of oral arguments.    As much as I hate it, the Obama people, and the president himself, deserve the pickle they're in.


Joementum,

SCOTUS doesn't need credibility with the public.  They have a unique form of authority that requires no credibility.  They're not elected officials. They are the ones who call the final pitch at the plate, and no matter how much they might hate this decision or that decision, the American public largely accepts that fact.  SCOTUS needs to offer no more justification than saying: "the Constitution gives us this authority, and this is how it's going to be with this law because we said so."  All they need to do is say "unconstitutional," and the GOP campaign, with that single word, will do the rest.  Really, you have not seen this play out in a campaign before, but you're going to get to see how effective it's going to be if Kennedy comes down on the side of "no dice."

You guys might not believe me, and frankly, at this point, I don't give a crap whether you do or not.  The truth is that I'm really not in the tank for anyone anymore, I literally have no candidate--anywhere--that I think is worth two shakes of a rat's ass.  All I know is that American politics has now descended into absolutely bottom-of-the-barrell bullsh**t--it has left us absolutely incapable of solving any of our most pressing problems, and as much as all of us would like to claim otherwise, the fact of the matter is that most of us are so wrapped up in the game of defending out own teams, our own versions of ideological purity, and so unthinkingly buy into political packaging that we actually don't really have any interest in supporting anyone who might have both feet on the ground, and who might tell us that some of our cherished idols are just not working anymore.  And we will continue to be that way right up until the moment that the car tips over the cliff's edge.

And, with that ugly little speech, I shall sign off, I really don't have anything to say anymore.  I'm not a fan of futility, and me sounding off like this is just that--futility.  

Farewell, enjoy and sincerely best wishes to all.
Doug  
        

I am honored to have been mentioned in your last dying Atlas breath.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

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Coming for to carry me home.
shua
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 02:02:01 pm »
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I guess that post was a bit more of a rant  in places than I remember it. Ah well, no harm done. Smiley
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bgwah
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2012, 09:53:34 pm »
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who don't know don't know how to pick up a woman so they turn gay to compensate

wat

Sam is an open homophobe.

I kind of doubt he fully believes what he says. A lot of it is just trolling, IMO.

Maybe, maybe not.  You never really know, do you?

That being said, when a message is sent, one should take the message for what it is, and act accordingly.

Perhaps I'm being presumptuous here, but I've always gotten the impression you love feuding with Afleitch. While you probably hope your anti-gay comments will get under someone's skin in general, I always wonder if it's really Afleitch who you want to irritate more than anyone.
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anvi
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2012, 10:54:20 am »
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Well, jmfcst, though I was responding to you, I wasn't mad at you; just disappointed about the way things worked out.  My expression of that disappointment was pretty poor, so, as above, I apologize.

You're right that the law in general, and the mandate in particular, are pretty unpopular in the country over all.  In some way, despite all these arguments about federalism and compulsory economic activity and all that, I'm just personally a bit baffled by that unpopularity.  I suppose I don't worry too much about my freedom being trampled when a requirement is placed upon me to do something that, so long as I was able, I would do anyway, like buy health insurance.  Particularly so if complying with that requirement meant that others, my fellow citizens, who have more dire needs than I do, could have an easier time getting access to insurance that they currently lack.  When I think of my citizenship, I suppose I just find that my responsibilities to my fellow citizens are just as important, sometimes even more so, than my own rights, and this area of life, to me, is one of those cases.  I've lived in countries where this kind of arrangement, in my opinion, works very well too--I never met anyone in Germany or Japan who felt oppressed by a health insurance mandate. 

But, those are just my personal feelings.  I'm weird.  Other people feel and believe much differently than I do, and on this issue, in this place, I appear to be outnumbered.  So, there it is.

Take care.
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Sbane
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2012, 07:43:46 pm »
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Anvi, there was nothing wrong with that post that I can see. And your last post is well said as well. Healthcare is a necessity,even for the rich. If you access healthcare without insurance in the US, you are a fool due to the way pricing works. And it is quite clear that most everyone who can afford insurance will get it anyways, and by getting insurance they make it more affordable for the rest of us. If the government can mandate us to buy a good, health insurance is a good candidate. Of course there should be a line drawn in the sand, but it's quite obvious forcing people to get health insurance is for the greater good and impacts others ability to access it. The Obama administration was dumb for not presenting a reasonable limiting principle for the Supreme Court, but for a case of this magnitude they should create one for themselves. There is a difference between this and forcing people to buy bicycles or purchase airline tickets or whatever and I am sure they are smart enough to realize that. Now if for blatant political reasons they refuse to acknowledge that, well that would be quite disappointing. And of course I'm putting that lightly.

Of course what we need to do is create a public option. It's the no-brainer option. Pay for it with additional payroll taxes taken from both employers and employees. Institute co-pays to ensure people only access healthcare when needed and institute a cap for the chronically ill. Enact mechanisms to move people from hospitals into skilled nursing facilities and other common sense solutions. Then we wouldn't have to fight an idiotic war over whether the government can force us to buy a private good, and we won't have to hear how having to pay 2.5% of your income or $695, whichever is greater, is some epic assault on our freedoms. Oh yeah, if you can't find a plan that isn't less than 8% of your income, you are exempt from the fine! How tyrannical! But the government being able to strip search you without convicting you isn't!

Bottom line is don't feel bad for sticking to your guns on this issue. We need more people to fight for our side to make sure we get universal coverage in this country, and hopefully something better than was instituted under the PPACA.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 08:04:02 pm by Senator Sbane »Logged
anvi
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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2012, 12:13:19 pm »
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Thank you, sbane.  It's really hard for me to see how comprehensive health care reform can happen in the U.S. after SCOTUS rules that mandates are unconstitutional.  That rules out anything like Bismarck-style universal coverage, within our for-profit system, in the future.  I'm not such a fan of "single-payer" systems, but I'm sure that the U.S. would literally sink into the ocean before any such thing was ever adopted here.  There is the Torie Plan, which combines tax-credits and subsidization for basic care coverage.  But as far as I can tell, the subsidization part would require tax increases that, after campaigning so hard against the current law, being so dead-set against revenue enhancements and determined to implement cuts, I'm pretty sure the GOP would never get behind such a plan.  Then, there is what we've got, which isn't satisfactory, and as time passes, will become even less so.

The "public option" that was embedded in PPACA died an early death because of Senate Dems.  It wasn't for everyone, of course; it had eligibility caps that made it available only to very low-income citizens, so it reached a small set of the population that private insurers aren't inclined to cover anyway.  But, in 2009, I corresponded several times with Kent Conrad (as his former constituent) about the public option, and he explained and sent data to me demonstrating that the reimbursement rates that even the Senate version of the "public option" offered providers caused the latter to balk, and he and about ten other Senate Dems took it off the table quite early.  

I never minded fighting for some sort of universal coverage plan (as noted, I do believe we should do better than PPACA).  A Bismarck-style plan for the States, which would operate in the context of for-profit insurance, seemed to me for a long time like the medicine that could go down in our country the easiest.  But the pending SCOTUS strikedown will slam the door shut on that option for good.  I'm not aware of anything plausible that is left to fight for.

A hypothetical recently crossed my mind.  Let's say it's 1996.  Bill Clinton proves unable to overcome the political travails that haunted his first two years in office, and news of the Lewinsky scandal breaks during the general election campaign.  Bob Dole wins the presidency.  Instinctively drawn to Bill Krystal's famous advice and following his own inclinations, Bob Dole decides to take away the issue of comprehensive health care reform from the Democrats once and for all, and introduces his own comprehensive health care reform bill, strongly resembling the '94 Senate bill backed by the GOP.  DoleCare features an individual mandate.  It passes Congress, and Dole signs it into law in 1997.  How many states, under this scenario, would have filed lawsuits against the law, alleging that its mandate posed an immanent threat to federalism?  If former Senator Bob Bennet, a co-sponsor of the '94 GOP bill, is to be believed, my guess is probably none.  He was opposed to PPACA's costs, not its mandate.  People like Grassley, Snowe et al never raised mandate objections in 2009 either.  The mandate, after all, is what got AHIP on board for almost the entire duration of the legislative process, and they only bailed when, under pressure against the mandate which only only appeared at the end of the year from a few Senate Republicans, its enforcement provisions were stripped out.  Until very late 2009, almost every serious person interested in comprehensive reform believed that mandates were an essential piece in the puzzle, and none of them sang the special carnival tune of federalism that's been only very recently composed as the battle-hymn against Obamacare.

But, when PPACA passed Congress, the only way left to bring it down was in the courts, and that's what happened, and as you note, the dismal job Obama's lawyers did defending the mandate there brought down the sword.  All this has led us to the brink of shutting down a road toward universal coverage (again, not PPACA itself, but the one element of it under discussion) that was probably most amenable to our system, and that road ended in the middle of a field where no other roads can be found, and right at the point that the supply of construction materials also ran out.  

I wish there were something else that was actually viable left to fight for, but I can't see it.  It's just one of those things, you know--there are some things in life that, while gravely important, just turn out to be futile causes.  Universal coverage in the U.S., sadly, is one of them.              
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« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2012, 12:26:37 pm »
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Enough of this nonsense, anvi, back to posting!  Smiley
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And let's be honest, Obama could take a selfie of his junk in the bathroom mirror with his BlackBerry, have it transferred to canvas and you'd have people saying it ought to be hung in the National Gallery.

Sbane
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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2012, 01:32:57 pm »
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Thank you, sbane.  It's really hard for me to see how comprehensive health care reform can happen in the U.S. after SCOTUS rules that mandates are unconstitutional.  That rules out anything like Bismarck-style universal coverage, within our for-profit system, in the future.  I'm not such a fan of "single-payer" systems, but I'm sure that the U.S. would literally sink into the ocean before any such thing was ever adopted here.  There is the Torie Plan, which combines tax-credits and subsidization for basic care coverage.  But as far as I can tell, the subsidization part would require tax increases that, after campaigning so hard against the current law, being so dead-set against revenue enhancements and determined to implement cuts, I'm pretty sure the GOP would never get behind such a plan.  Then, there is what we've got, which isn't satisfactory, and as time passes, will become even less so.

The "public option" that was embedded in PPACA died an early death because of Senate Dems.  It wasn't for everyone, of course; it had eligibility caps that made it available only to very low-income citizens, so it reached a small set of the population that private insurers aren't inclined to cover anyway.  But, in 2009, I corresponded several times with Kent Conrad (as his former constituent) about the public option, and he explained and sent data to me demonstrating that the reimbursement rates that even the Senate version of the "public option" offered providers caused the latter to balk, and he and about ten other Senate Dems took it off the table quite early. 

I never minded fighting for some sort of universal coverage plan (as noted, I do believe we should do better than PPACA).  A Bismarck-style plan for the States, which would operate in the context of for-profit insurance, seemed to me for a long time like the medicine that could go down in our country the easiest.  But the pending SCOTUS strikedown will slam the door shut on that option for good.  I'm not aware of anything plausible that is left to fight for.

A hypothetical recently crossed my mind.  Let's say it's 1996.  Bill Clinton proves unable to overcome the political travails that haunted his first two years in office, and news of the Lewinsky scandal breaks during the general election campaign.  Bob Dole wins the presidency.  Instinctively drawn to Bill Krystal's famous advice and following his own inclinations, Bob Dole decides to take away the issue of comprehensive health care reform from the Democrats once and for all, and introduces his own comprehensive health care reform bill, strongly resembling the '94 Senate bill backed by the GOP.  DoleCare features an individual mandate.  It passes Congress, and Dole signs it into law in 1997.  How many states, under this scenario, would have filed lawsuits against the law, alleging that its mandate posed an immanent threat to federalism?  If former Senator Bob Bennet, a co-sponsor of the '94 GOP bill, is to be believed, my guess is probably none.  He was opposed to PPACA's costs, not its mandate.  People like Grassley, Snowe et al never raised mandate objections in 2009 either.  The mandate, after all, is what got AHIP on board for almost the entire duration of the legislative process, and they only bailed when, under pressure against the mandate which only only appeared at the end of the year from a few Senate Republicans, its enforcement provisions were stripped out.  Until very late 2009, almost every serious person interested in comprehensive reform believed that mandates were an essential piece in the puzzle, and none of them sang the special carnival tune of federalism that's been only very recently composed as the battle-hymn against Obamacare.

But, when PPACA passed Congress, the only way left to bring it down was in the courts, and that's what happened, and as you note, the dismal job Obama's lawyers did defending the mandate there brought down the sword.  All this has led us to the brink of shutting down a road toward universal coverage (again, not PPACA itself, but the one element of it under discussion) that was probably most amenable to our system, and that road ended in the middle of a field where no other roads can be found, and right at the point that the supply of construction materials also ran out. 

I wish there were something else that was actually viable left to fight for, but I can't see it.  It's just one of those things, you know--there are some things in life that, while gravely important, just turn out to be futile causes.  Universal coverage in the U.S., sadly, is one of them.               

France doesn't have a mandate and yet 99% of their population is covered. The 1% being people who don't want to be covered, or are too lazy to sign up. And they cover more than what the PPACA would have ended up covering. We would neither have to mandate people get insurance or that insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions if we had a public option that covered them. In France (using this example since they are rated #1, have private providers and I just did a presentation on their health system) the public option (which almost everyone uses) has no premiums except for the payroll tax but has copays of 30-40%, with none at all for some procedures. Many purchase private insurance to cover this. I agree that passing something like this would be damn near impossible,especially since you have to get 60 corporately owned Senators on board, but don't underestimate how popular the public option is. There are many people vehemently against the mandate precisely because there isn't a public option. Smiley
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